NZ Rugby World
NO BACK-UP FOR MO’UNGA
Not so much a problem child as a potential problem area. As mentioned above, Mo’unga is crucial to the Crusaders’ attacking game and Robertson has few quality back-ups in an area that was once a strength.
Mitchell Hunt once provided this role – few who watched it live will forget how his last-minute long-range dropped goal in 2017 allowed the Crusaders to beat the Highlanders in Christchurch - but Hunt is now in his second year at the Highlanders.
Mo’unga’s current back-up, Brett Cameron, a one-test All Black, is yet to truly find his feet at this level.
Finding an experienced player from outside the Crusaders willing to play second fiddle to Mo’unga will not be easy so their best chance will be to develop their own, as they have generally done.
Maybe Cameron is the answer, although Mo’unga, born and bred in Christchurch, didn’t take long to prove his talents after taking over from Dan Carter, the All Blacks’ record goal-scorer, who took over from Andrew Mehrtens.
It’s perhaps not that the renowned production line of quality 10s has broken down, more that it’s not immediately obvious where the next top operator is coming from.
At 26, Mo’unga is still young, however.